DIY Promo Tip: How to maximise the impact of your press conference


Do you want to organise a press conference for your upcoming launch? Are you worried that not enough journalists will show up, but still want to make a big impact? Here are 5 tips to maximise the impact of your press conference:

1) Live stream

Take charge of the process by live streaming the event, and then broadcasting it on social media. There are several free apps you can use for this such as Periscope, Google Hangout, Facebook Live, XSplit Free, Bambuser, YouNow and Open Broadcaster Software to mention just a few.

2) Bring your own photographer and record the event on video

I also highly recommend you bring your own top quality photographer, as well as someone who can record the event on to a high quality video which you can use for future promotional purposes. This way you can mix and match highlights from the event into your marketing campaign. Make sure everyone stays behind afterwards for any additional photos you might want to take. The media love fresh images – and video – to go with the press materials.

If you have a photographer there, why not take the opportunity to update your own portfolio at the same time. Ask the photographer to do both landscape and portrait images, as well as full body and head shots. I am amazed at how many artists/creatives don’t have high res photos of themselves (especially not new ones).  You could even use this to create an additional income stream for yourself by offering the other people on the panel the opportunity to buy individual photos of themselves which can be used both for this campaign and future ones.

Inside tip: Have a think beforehand how you want to portray both yourself and the event you want the media to cover, and make sure your clothes, makeup and body language match that.

Inside tip: The video can be uploaded to YouTube to drive more traffic to your site (both in full from the event, but also behind-the-scenes interviews with participants, which can be uploaded later).

If there is a Q & A at the end, don’t forget to record it as well so you can incorporate it into the promotional campaign materials.

3) Ask people who are online to submit questions

Inside tip: Ask people on the live feed to ask questions too, so you can respond live.

Depending on how you marketed your press conference, you could also offer people a chance to ask questions beforehand which you can answer during the live event.

4) Invite people on the panel to be more actively involved in the promotion

Brief everybody on the panel afterwards on how you intend to use the result of the press conference and ask them to actively participate on social media by tweeting, posting, retweeting, and tagging each other for maximum viral reach. Make sure they’re aware of your code of conduct regarding how to behave online and in the press, what to say and what not to say, and what actions they need to take.

5) Post-press conference press kit, updated with the very latest info

Finally, immediately after the event, create your own updated press kit (prepare as much as possible beforehand) and include comments from the press conference, fresh pics, video links and other information to help the media feature it immediately, even if they weren’t able to come to the event in person. Also, create and add a hashtag for the event, so that attendees can connect with each other and you can follow what´s being said about it online.

Best of luck!

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Founder, From Sweden Productions

PS: Have we missed any new live streaming tools that you would like to recommend? Please share them in the comment section below!

DIY Promo Tip: The law of attraction and how to raise money for your project


Have you ever planned an upcoming project, and worried about the finances? You have this great idea, perhaps a strong artistic vision that you would like to come into fruition, but lack the money to pay for it? “If only” …I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret. It has everything to do with your mindset! Instead of chasing money, applying for grants and scholarships for the 20th time with no promises of a return on your investment of time and energy, do the exact opposite.

Focus on what it is you want and your BIG WHY behind it. How will your project serve others and be of value to them? THEN create attraction around that idea, partner up with other people who share your vision and look into OTHER sources of income. Sources you can control! You see, there are hundreds of ways you can make money today, but we are not trained to think this way. Instead, as artists – especially in classical music, performing arts, jazz, folk- and world, singing and song writing…you get the drift – we are being told to perform for the pleasure of getting noticed and a vague promise of future possibilities that might never happen. A false sense of having to be so grateful for grants, which so easily turns us into passive beggars, instead of empowered business professionals in the cultural sphere.

A mentor of mine, Roger James Hamilton, has a wonderful metaphor for this:
“Searching for customers is chasing after butterflies with a net. Attracting customers is building a garden, the butterflies come to you.”

So, stop chasing money, audiences, grants etc.

Instead, be clear about what it is you want and then tap into where the flow is and create your own sources of income. It takes a bit of planning, and you can start strong by brainstorming the top 20 ways to bring in money and secure positive cash flow in your project; here are 10 ways to get you started and then you can add 10 more:

1. Box office revenues
2. Sponsors
3. Advertisers
4. Crowd funding
5. Patrons
6. Investors
7. Donations
8. Merchandise
9. Sell online tutorials
10.Sell online behind-the-scenes interviews

Please note that you can of course apply for government grants etc, but don´t let the fate of your passion project be at the mercy of others. You need to be clear about your financial goals and when you need them to happen. THEN, make sure to track and measure your finances on a DAILY BASIS! If this is not your forte, hire someone to do it for you. Believe me, it will be well worth the investment!

Best of luck with this,

Keep Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions

DIY Promo Tip: How to shine Off Stage (as well as On stage) as a performer


I am writing this in the air, on my way to Stockholm from London where I last night attended the opening night of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical, Sunset Boulevard, in London’s West End. It was a magical evening; Glenn Close, Fred Johanson, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon and their fellow cast members were radiant on stage (including ENO’s Olivier-award winning orchestra and stellar ensemble) and the performance closed to standing ovations and such a loud cheer that the roof almost lifted. I was moved, so deeply touched by the performance that I still cannot shake the feeling that I have witnessed something quite out of the ordinary yesterday. Something that will stay with me – and the rest of the audience – for as long as we remember.

This morning we woke up to glowing reviews from prestigious magazines and newspapers in both the UK and abroad, and I am sure the whole production team feels such a great relief today. Their vision for the project worked, ENO has been under hardship for quite some time but now not only have they won an Olivier Award this week but also showed, once again, what excellence means in the world of theatre, arts and business.

Throughout the rehearsal period, people have been tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming and sharing their support for the actors and the production online, asking about tickets and information about the show. In online marketing it is a common saying that you have to be where your target market is, you have to show up where they hang out and in this case, as an artist – or creative of any sorts involved with a production like this – you increase your chances of getting exposure by making sure you have set up your online media presence in such a way that people can tag you, include you in posts, PM you and connect with you directly to ask questions.

To give you a good example. Before we started, Fred didn´t have Twitter, or an official Facebook account, a YouTube channel or even a proper website. By just taking a few simple measures to set up these accounts and then aim to post daily, he is now allowing fans to connect with him directly and show him their support. And not only that, the other people in the production are able to include him in their tweets and FB posts (and vice versa), not only making it easier to communicate within the team but also create buzz and drive traffic to the various platforms and the production itself. And when you have more traffic, you rank higher in search engines so that press and potential producers looking to cast new productions are able to find you much easier.

You increase your chances of media exposure AND future gigs by making yourself available to the public eye. This way you can control what´s being said about you, post relevant info that you want media to know and it also increases your attraction as someone to hire for a new show. Why? Because like it or not, performing arts is an expensive industry and all producers want to see a financial return from their investment. If they know that you are not only talented and great on stage, but also actively contribute to increased box office revenues and media attention – well, then you have just increased your chances of being hired again. And again. Which builds your following, which adds more buzz to your brand, which makes you more fun to write about in the media. You get the drift.

My challenge to you is this. If you are an artist, an actor, singer, musician or performer of any kind and want to get more recognition for what you do – go over your online media presence, update it to include the latest info, biography, photos, audio and video links.

You might say at this point, “yeah yeah – I know. I just haven’t gotten around to doing that just yet.” Well, then I am here to say Do it TODAY! Don´t wait another day, tap into the flow and start sharing your voice with the market place to become a key player in your field.

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag
Founder and Managing Director,
From Sweden Productions

The number 1 thing you MUST do before commencing any new promotion


Last week I talked about the number one thing you must do before launching a project. If you fail to do this, you won’t get the results you desire.

So, what is it? It’s so simple, and yet it’s sometimes more challenging to identify than we care to admit. It’s CLARITY. I’m talking about clearly identifying the OUTCOME you want, and your big reason WHY you want this outcome. Don’t make it overly complicated; in a sentence or two describe what it is you want and why in such a way that you engage emotionally with the outcome. You see, we have all made these big promises and set these major goals (New Year Resolutions anyone?) but all too often we don’t see them through. The reason is often not lack of discipline but lack of support on a daily basis.

Let´s say you have this big vision for a promotion you want to do. It could be a concert, an upcoming event or launch of some kind. Now, take out a piece of paper and write down exactly what you want to do and why. Do you have a time frame in mind? Add that too. You don’t have to have all the details of the plan in place just yet, but by knowing where you want to go and when, you can then add the missing pieces in an aligned way where it all fits in with the bigger picture.

Make your vision compelling and attractive, something you would be willing to fight for – and be inspired by – on a daily basis. Also, identify several goals within the project; Creative/Artistic, Financial, Educational, Development goals (for instance, the development goal could be to organise a list of media contacts, audience goers etc as a result of this particular promotion). Again, keep it simple and to the point. You don’t want any confusion about what it is you are setting out to do. And you should be able to easily explain it to anyone who asks.

An inside tip is to not only be clear about what you want to achieve, but also what you are willing to sacrifice to get to the goal. This, my friend, is one of the biggest lessons to learn. One which will dramatically improve your results. Let’s face it, all too often it sounds exciting at the start but then things happen along the way that knock you off balance and you lose momentum and motivation. You might fall ill, another big and time consuming job comes up, a close relative needs your support, your children are on school holidays and you have no childcare to back you up etc; these are all things that slow you down. Identify potential internal and external challenges and problems within the project beforehand and have a think about how you plan to handle them. For a live event, one challenge could be that the majority of people are away on summer holiday at the time of the event, which might affect ticket sales. How could you overcome that? Do more marketing and PR beforehand? Fine tune your offering to attract the people who are in town? Another thing stopping you is that you might have to increase your marketing efforts and you don’t particularly like doing that. So the sacrifice could be to set aside 30 mins first thing every morning to focus your attention on ticket sales, social media marketing and PR outreach.

Do you have an upcoming promotion that you are about to set in motion? Remember: the clearer you are about your goal and the sacrifices you are willing to make in the process, the more likely you are to succeed.

Now go out and SHINE. The world needs you.

Keep making magic!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions

DIY Promotion Tips!



Image: TalentCoach: Adée

Welcome and thank you for visiting this new blog, dedicated to empowering cultural professionals with their promotions and creative businesses.

This is a very exciting moment for me. For a long time I have wanted to create a DIY Promotion Platform sharing cutting edge strategies, tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way and that I know work (and don´t work!) to help people such as yourself successfully set up successful promotions for you and your creative business organisation and projects. I want to help you be at the forefront of new technology and at the same time be able to use them to your advantage in a genuine and authentic way.

The reason for this is that I truly believe that arts and culture are necessary for a healthy society. It brings people together from all backgrounds and connects us on an individual and collective level with something higher than ourselves. Very often in our industry there is a lot of talk about “lack”. Lack of money, lack of resources, often waiting for someone else to “discover us” etc. The good news however is that with the internet of things we are able to create our own media empires and control our own content, without the approval of anyone else. And this in turn means that it is easier than ever to attract large audiences and even start as entrepreneurs, where we are in charge of our own businesses from start to finish.

Does this resonate with you? Would it be of help to you if we on a weekly basis shared strategies and case studies to help you get noticed, build your fan-base and make it financially sustainable at the same time? All of this for free, no catch. Only with a deep desire to be of service to you to help you shine. Deal? If so, read on and comment below so that we know what problems and challenges in particular you are facing and how I and we at From Sweden Productions can be of help.

So, first of all – let me introduce who we are to give you a feel for what we do.

I founded From Sweden Productions in 2009 with the aim to promote Swedish Performing Arts, Media and Entertainment abroad and we have since produced and promoted several large-scale and high profile concerts, productions, festivals and events in London and internationally.

It has been a great journey so far. As part of this, we are currently working on several wonderful projects including promotion of Swedish Musical Star, Fred Johanson in relation to his West End production, Sunset Boulevard, with Glenn Close in April. Other clients include one of Europe’s leading classical music ensembles, Camerata Nordica ,and the exciting Kalmar-based music project, Talent-Coach, which is making a big noise with their artists including Swedish rising star, Adée, who performed at South by Southwest in Texas earlier this month.

What we have noticed over these past years, is that there are so many amazing artists and creative projects out there that deserve to get noticed but they just don’t know how. To be able to serve more people in our industry, we are therefore now opening up a free DIY Promotion blog section, to be able to share the latest strategies and tools with all of you, so that you can successfully promote yourself and your upcoming promotions.

We will also share with you our inside tips and tricks as a producer and promoter, which we use our-selves for ourselves and our clients.

So, whether you are a musician, singer, choir, ensemble, festival, producer, promoter or even an arts organisation, this blog is dedicated to you and your success!

Topics we will cover are branding, PR and marketing strategies, how to attract large audiences, online promotion, revenue making strategies and much more. Based on what you want to hear more of, we will also aim to answer your questions to empower you on your creative journey.

No. 1 in successful promotion of any business, production or personal brand is to be consistent and reliable. We are therefore committed to blog once a week from now on, on Tuesdays starting today.

I, Sofie, have a personal goal as well. One of my business mentors challenged me to scale things up and find a way of helping 80 people in my main niche, which is the cultural and creative industries. (So far we have been working with clients one to one.) Since I specialise in Arts and Business, this is something I am very passionate about. This blog is part of that quest, in a humble attempt to be of value to you, dear reader.

Stay tuned for next week, where I will be talking about the number one thing you MUST do before you start any project. Fail to do this, and you are our of business even before you got started.

In the meantime – have a great week ahead and please post comments below so that we know what topics you would want us to cover (please note, no spam or self promotion.)

Thank you.

To your success!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions


Get in touch with us!